Conversation Therapy

Column by Rev. Matthew Syrdal on 6 April 2023 0 Comments

It has been said that words make worlds. And if this is true, that what we say and how we say it matters. If this is true, language is sacred. For in its origins language would be the Self-expression, not just of the human species—but of the world itself.

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About the miracles in the Gospels
The miracles in the Gospels, where Jesus healed people who were sick, can they be taken literally or if not can they be interpreted and understood as ways of been kind towards those who are ill?


Dear Roy,

Your question has been asked countless times by people who struggle with the relationship between what is true and what really happened.

In the time of Jesus, illness was thought to be caused by either the sin of the person who was ill or by demon possession.  Nobody knew anything about pathogens, or about cancer, or about mental illness in those days.  So, if you were going to cure someone, they needed to believe that you had the power to exorcize the demons that were causing their illness, or to restore their mental health by pronouncing you worthy and loved by God.

So, if the healing stories are about the power of restoring wholeness and worthiness then they can be taken literally.  If they are about miraculous physical changes, then some might not take those stories literally.  Even so, we know the power of prayer and the psychosomatic dimension of healing.  Not believing that a blind person could suddenly see, or that a paralyzed person could suddenly jump up and walk is not the same thing as discounting the power of someone like Jesus to restore health in other ways to human being who had lost all hope.  He would always say, “Your faith has made you well.”  That is, wholeness is not just outwardly physical, but is also inwardly spiritual.  There is more than one way to be healed, and the miraculous is not to be confused with the magical.  In the end, we may not be made perfect, but love can make us whole.

~ Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers




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